Historically, fall is the time that brew masters go to the darker side of their craft. The aromas of dark roasted malt and molasses fill the air while the nectar of porters and stouts are created. Some as black as night itself. This is the time that I revel in my beer snobbery! But since Michigan has become such a mecca for craft beers, my middle brow status as a beer drinker has been watered down.

The adventurous home brewer has learned that anything goes when it comes to making beer. Anything can be added and the sky is the limit when it comes to what you would like to add to it. Beers I have sampled over the years have had anything from pine needles to bananas in the mash. And yes, I have survived!

To share my love of some of my favorites, I have comprised a list of my top ten "Big Beers." The order does not reflect my love for one over another. It's just a short list of those that I gravitate towards.

1) "Voo-Doo Vator" (Doppelbock 9.5% ABV) Atwater Brewery - Detroit, MI

2) "Vanilla Java Porter" (American Porter 6.0% ABV) Atwater Brewery - Detroit, MI

3) "Big Eddy" (Russian Imperial Stout 9.5% ABV) J. Leinenkugel Brewery - Chippewa Falls, WI

4) "Breakfast Stout" (American Double/Imperial Stout - 8.30% ABV) Founders Brewing Co. - Grand Rapids, MI

5) "Thirsty Trout Porter" (Baltic Porter - 7.0 % ABV) Dark Horse Brewing Co. - Marshall, MI

6) "Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian" (Belgian Stout - 9.2% ABV) Bad Brewing Co. Mason, MI

7) "Perkulator Coffee Doppelbock" (Doppelbock - 7.0% ABV) Dark Horse Brewing Co. Marshall, MI

8) "Edmund Fitzgerald Porter" (American Porter ) Great Lakes Brewing Co. - Chicago, IL

9) "Founders Porter" (American Porter - 6.5% ABV) Founders Brewing Co. - Grand Rapids, MI

10) "Chocolate Stout" (American Stout - 6% ABV) Rogue Ales - Oregon

And if you would like to experience what craft beer has to offer right here in your own town, make sure to join me and many others at the upcoming "Lansing On Tap Beer Festival" on November 1st! The festival will take place in Downtown Lansing at the Louis Adado Riverfront Park from 2 - 5PM. Over 100 craft beers from over 50 breweries plus, live music and delicious local food. Head over to WMMQ.COM for full details!

CHEERS! -  Duran